I recently read Buskers: The On-the-Streets, In-the-Trains, Off-the-Grid Memoir of Two New York City Street Musicians by Heth and Jed, which came up with some fantastic quotes. Here’s the first paragraph of a chapter in which they describe their ascendancy to becoming one of Manhattan’s most successful busker groups:

We became musical Bedouins, settling into a nomadic lifestyle of roving the metropolis with instruments in tow, in search of our next sonic oasis. We called it guerrilla busking: show up, plug in, rock out. Then, wash, dry, and repeat. Years of skateboarding Manhattan’s pockmarked streets put us at a slight advantage, since we already viewed public spaces far differently from the way ordinary civilians did. It turned out that busking was only a minute chromosomal mutation away from skating. Each sterile grey building embankment that had previously beckoned our Tony Aleva skate decks was now a potential concert hall, another stop on our balls-to-the-wall, nonstop tour of Manhattan.

If you’re interested in street performance, I recommend buying their book. You will have to sit through some very entertaining stories from their non-busking days as well, but it’s well written and worth the wait. Anyway, below is an interview they did with Mark Cersosimo and Michael A. Capasso for the series, Playing for Pocket Change.

Playing For Pocket Change: Episode 5
Heth and Jed – hethandjed.com

Created by Mark Cersosimo and Michael A. Capasso

Playing For Pocket Change is a series featuring musicians playing on the streets and in the subways of New York City. Often overlooked and ignored, we find out exactly who these people are and what makes them want perform in what is arguably the world’s strangest venue.

Episode 1: Erich Woodrum and Francois Nnang
Episode 2: Johnny Sheppard
Episode 3: Angel Marin
Episode 4: Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz
Episode 5: Heth and Jed
Episode 6: Tom Swafford
Episode 7: Don Witter JR.
Episode 8: Erik Meier
Episode 9: The Singing Dragon
Episode 10: Shakerleg
Mark’s Vimeo Channel: vimeo.com/channels/pocketchange